Sustainability Tips

Check out these ideas for how to live, learn and work sustainably on campus. Big or small, your actions add up—so try one of these tips today!

Energy Conservation

  • Turn off the lights. So basic—yet so effective!
  • Set your thermostat between 68-76°F.
  • Close the windows when you leave.
  • Energy Star identifies energy-efficient products and other ways to save energy—and money!
  • Check out a Kill A Watt© device from the U-M library to see how much energy your devices use.
  • Leave space around radiators and vents. If they are blocked, the system may run more frequently to achieve the desired temperature.
  • Learn how to minimize the carbon footprint of events, such as by hosting a virtual event.
  • For U-M staff:
  • For labs:
    • Shut the sash on fume hoods when not in use.
    • Consider purchasing an efficient ultra-low temp freezer when time for replacement or setting to -70°C instead of -80°C.


Ride the bus, ride a bike, carpool, walk—there are lots of options to reduce the environmental impact of getting around. Check out U-M’s alternative transportation resources.

Waste Reduction

Sustainable Food

Protect the Huron River Water Quality

  • Don’t put anything except water down storm drains, which carry storm water to local waterways. That means no motor oil, detergents, litter, or fertilizers.
  • Keep an eye out for fluid leaks from your car and address any that arise.
  • Pick up after your pet. Pet waste is raw sewage.
  • Report on-campus spills or dumping to DPSS.

Everything Else

  • For U-M staff: consult U-M’s sustainable purchasing guide to buy items that are environmentally preferable.
  • Sustainable Computing provides advice on energy efficiency, print reduction, and e-waste recycling.
  • Make your next phone, computer, or TV a greener pick by consulting the EPEAT ratings from the Consumer Electronics Council.